Jesus Christ: Our Antibiotic
The word antibiotic comes from the Greek anti meaning 'against' and bios meaning 'life.' Antibiotic is also known as antibacterial, and they are drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Such illnesses as tuberculosis, salmonella, syphilis and some forms of meningitis are caused by bacteria. Before bacteria can multiply and cause symptoms our immune system can usually destroy them. We have special white blood cells that attack harmful bacteria. Even if symptoms do occur, our immune system can usually cope and fight off the infection. There are occasions, however, when it is all too much and our bodies need some help - from antibiotics.
The first antibiotic was penicillin. Such penicillin-related antibiotics as ampicillin, amoxicillin and benzylpenicilllin are widely used today to treat a variety of infections - these antibiotics have been around for a long time. There are several different types of modern antibiotics and they are only available with a doctor's prescription in industrialized countries.
Although there are a number of different types of antibiotic they all work in one of two ways: A bactericidal antibiotic kills the bacteria. Penicillin is a bactericidal. A bactericidal usually either interferes with the formation of the bacterium's cell wall or its cell contents; a bacteriostatic stops bacteria from multiplying.
So, antibiotics target not only microorganisms such as bacteria, but also fungi and parasites. However, they are not effective against viruses. If antibiotics are overused or used incorrectly there is a chance that the bacteria will become resistant - the antibiotic becomes less effective against that type of bacterium.
Antibiotics are usually taken by mouth (orally); however, they can also be administered by injection, or applied directly to the affected part of the body. Most antibiotics start having an effect on an infection within a few hours. It is important to remember to complete the whole course of the medication to prevent the infection from coming back. If you do not complete the course, there is a higher chance the bacteria may become resistant to future treatments - because the ones that survive when you did not complete the course have had some exposure to the antibiotic and may consequently have built up a resistance to it. Even if you are feeling better, you still need to complete the course.
If Sin were a bacterial infection, then Jesus would be an antibiotic, of sorts (Jesus is not against life). Why antibiotic and not vaccine? First, vaccines are preventive, antibiotic remedial. We are already sick with Sin (Romans 3:10 – 12; 5:12), we need a remedy. Second, vaccines are typically a dead or weakened specimen of the same creature making you sick. They are injected to make us immune to the disease; which is a different way of saying they are to boost our immune system to fight the disease, should we be infected. Although Jesus became Sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), God's intention is not to make us stronger in case we fall in Sin. Furthermore, it is not the Jesus that came in the likeness of Sinful flesh Jesus that enters in us and dwells in us, it is the glorified Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Again, we are already infected, and God's intention is to kill the sin in us. God does not inject weak Sin in us to make us stronger.
Jesus is both bactericidal and bacteriostatic. He stops Sin from reproducing and also kills it. When Jesus dwells in us, He changes the way we think. He transforms us by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). He writes the law in our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33), thus getting rid of the self centeredness of Sin. This is what He wanted to with the Israelites. But, they refused (Exodus 19 and 20). So, God gave them the Law, not as a way to heal them, but as a way to diagnose their illness (Exodus 20; Galatians 3:19). The Law was akin to a list of symptoms. When any of these symptoms are present, you need Jesus your antibiotic, to kill the bacteria of Sin or making sure it does not keep reproducing. It is then that either the symptoms will go away or will not bother you. But, the Israelites thought that getting rid of the symptoms meant they were Ok. However, the bacteria were still alive in them creating havoc inside.
The antibiotic is free to us (given by grace), we take it by faith. It must be taken for as long as we live in this world of Sin, because as long as we are here, the bacteria always find a way to resurface unless the antibiotic course is completed. The date when Christ returns (Galatians 3:23, 25; 1 Corinthians 15:52 - 54) the course will be completed, we will be healed. Until then, we will need that diagnosis list – The Law – so it will let us know when we have a symptom (Galatians 3:23 -25).
Jesus is better than an antibiotic. There is something cool about this Jesus antibiotic that the literal antibiotic does not have. This antibiotic not only kills the bacteria of sin, but also gives life to the Host of the bacteria. We read in 1 John 5:11-13
1 John 5: 11 And this is the record: that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5: 12 He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.
1 John 5: 13 These things I have written unto you that believe in the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe in the name of the Son of God.
Since eternal life is in Jesus, when He dwells in us, we have eternal life. So, Jesus not only eradicates Sin, He also gives us life. Praise the Lord!